You’re Not JUST Taxes

Make Sure Tax Clients Know About Other Services.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Call Me Before You Do Anything: The Art of Accounting

During a tax return preparation interview, getting a client’s information is a tremendous opportunity to find out the concerns of the client and how you can help.

MORE: 20 Good Ways to Boost Tax Season Production | How to Recoup Staff Training Costs | 10 Ways to Stay in Control | Advice to New Accountants | Clients Don’t Lose Sleep for Overpaying Taxes | When Time-Based Pricing Works
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The assistance you give can sometimes provide a life-changing benefit to the client while enabling your firm to increase its service base and gain additional revenues.

How to Implement the Laziness Equation

Time is money : clock hands on $100 billsCalculate and cut turnaround time.

By Frank Stitely
The Relentless CPA

One of the funniest parts of launching Clarity Practice Management has been watching my business partner, Peter Daniel, learn about the business acumen of CPAs and accountants. Peter and I founded Clarity as a collaboration between a CPA firm client (Peter) and a CPA firm (me.). He knew what he wanted from a client perspective, and I knew what we wanted as a CPA firm.

MORE: The Happier, Saner, Richer Tax Firm | ‘Quick Questions’ and Other Client Sins | When Clients Create Errors | How We Killed the Tax Season Client Meeting | Why Small Firms Can Win the Talent Wars | There Are No Easy Answers | How to Thrive as a 21st-Century Firm
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Peter owns a software development company and believes in the rational decision-making model for businesses. The rational decision-making model is totally irrelevant to the way most CPAs and accountants run their practices. For instance, consider this interchange between Peter and a practitioner at our Clarity booth during a trade show.

The Happier, Saner, Richer Tax Firm

Scrambled thoughts enter man's head, straightened ones come outIt’s not easy, but it is possible.

By Frank Stitely
The Relentless CPA

I’m back. Since writing the “Relentless CPA – The New 21st Century System for Driving Success at Tax and Accounting Firms,” I have spoken to dozens of CPAs and accountants, been called a dozen names (some of them deserved), and received a few death threats.

MORE: ‘Quick Questions’ and Other Client Sins | How to Train Clients | How to Reduce Tax Return Errors | Why Your Firm Needs to Attract More Millenials | The Fool in the Room | The 3 Biggest Tech Failures of Accounting Firms | 7 Steps to Effective Project Management
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Actually, the death threats came from my wife, who said she’d kill me if I said “yes” to any new projects. She watches lots of crime shows, so the FBI regarded her threats as serious. I am writing this to buy a bulletproof vest for when she gets out of jail. Thank you for your contribution to saving my life.

SURVEY: A Glint of Optimism for 2021

Accountants expect to out-perform their clients. Is that a good thing?

By CPA Trendlines Research

Patrick McDermott, of McDermott & Apkarian in Orcutt, Calif.
Patrick McDermott: Fine-tuning the work-from-home model.

A certain tiny germ whose name we need not mention is making life tough for a lot of people and businesses. Accountants are no exception.

The CPA Trendlines Business Barometer is turning up a few cases of COVID-19 that shut down CPA offices at the height of the season. And even where the infection hasn’t managed to muscle its way into the office, firms are taking draconian measures to keep operations up and running.

MORE in SURVEYS & RESEARCH: Accountants Say: Brace for a Dismal 2021 | PPP Client Fraud: How Much Risk Is Too Much? | PPP Traps: 1 in 5 Accountants Report Shady Dealings | Cloudy Forecasts Call for Rainmaking

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The Busy Season Barometer is finding CPAs cautiously optimistic about their own futures. Only one percent think the next 12 months will shape up “much worse” for their firms and families. Some 15 percent think their firms will do “somewhat worse.” Twelve percent are similarly concerned for their families. About half foresee no change. About a third actually think their economic situation might improve.

But accountants turn quite a bit more pessimistic when they look a little farther from home. While only 16 percent think their firms will do worse over the next year, 36 percent think their clients will do worse.

Uh-oh! Can CPA firms do better if their clients are doing worse?


PPP Traps: 1 in 5 Accountants Report Shady Dealings

Fake employees, fake businesses, and lavish spending mar the COVID relief program.

Have you walked away from any PPP engagements?
PPP Practice Management Do’s and Don’ts:
Join the Survey. Get the Results.

By Sandi Leyva

With fast money comes fast fraud, and the arrests and jail terms are only just beginning for individuals who applied for PPP money under false pretenses and have already been caught. You’ve seen the headlines, where people from every walk of life including reality TV stars, rappers, a Wal-Mart manager, and even an NFL player have been arrested on charges of PPP loan fraud.

PPP fraud has likely already impacted your firm. The extent of the fraud is the real story.

One thing is fairly predictable: “Audits will pick up,” says Bradley Burnett, tax attorney and instructor of the PPP Forgiveness webinars being conducted by Accountant’s Accelerator and CPA Trendlines.

According to respondents of an ongoing survey being conducted by CPA Trendlines and Accountant’s Accelerator, preliminary results show that just over 1 out of every five accounting professionals offering PPP services (22 percent) has had to walk away from at least one PPP engagement.  And one firm has had to walk away from more than five PPP engagements.


Don’t Get Burned by These PPP Pitfalls

Three ways to get it wrong and only have one chance to get it right.

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By Stephen Nelson

Over the last few months, I’ve answered hundreds of questions about PPP loans. And I’ve written a short e-book, “Maximizing PPP Loan Forgiveness” for the accountants who will help small businesses with their forgiveness applications.

Stephen Nelson’s new e-book Maximizing PP Loan Forgiveness is available through CPA Trendlines directly from his website for instant download. |  More from Stephen L. Nelson

Learn more here: New e-Book: ‘Maximizing PPP Loan Forgiveness

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And, here’s an insight from all this frenzied PPP activity: Big surprises await many borrowers.